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Kathmandu, My Fascination

Kathmandu, My Fascination

| On 09, Oct 2018

‘Kathmandu: My Fascination’ is a novel exhibition showing Prabod Shrestha’s pop-art silkscreen prints illustrated with a sound installation. The material displays the lifestyle of modern Kathmandu, often juxtaposing the old and the new. It includes rickshaws and motorbikes, temples and ultra-modern buildings, ancient statues and modern graffiti.

When Prabod lost his gallery during the earthquake in 2015, he started walking. He used to wander the streets of Kathmandu everyday. It was a way to work through the trauma, but also to reconnect with his childhood. “Despite the overwhelming changes I still recognized the old city that shaped me when I grew up, Sometimes we are overwhelmed by the pollution and urbanization of Kathmandu but sooner or later we reconnect with its core and its vibrancy,” says Prabodh. ‘Kathmandu, My Fascination’ is the outcome of his post-earthquake wanderings.

All of us who live in Kathmandu and at times struggle with its development connect to Prabod’s work. He plays with different graphic styles but ultimately it is about what makes this city so timeless and vibrant.

Prabod Shrestha is a graphic artist who is also known for his video editing and copper jewelry called ‘Zigi Expression’. The artist was born in Baglung but moved to Kathmandu at the age of two. He lived in different parts of Nepal before returning to the capital in 1975. This is where he spend his teenage years and where he discovered Freak Street as a place to learn to break boundaries and to be a ‘true hippie’. “On Freak Street my mind expanded. Here I learned to be an individual,” says Prabod.

The exhibition will take place at Bikalpa Art Centre from 8th to 24th December, 2018

Curated by Saroj Mahato & Lucia de Vries

  • Prabod Shrestha was born in 1966 in Baglung and moved to his ‘mamaghar’, Kathmandu, at the age of two. Since his father was a civil servant, Prabod moved countless times and lived in different parts of the country. In 1975 his family moved back to Kathmandu, and he has lived here since.

    During his ‘hippie days’ he frequented Freak Street with friends, played guitar in a band called Cream Roll, and travelled to India, South East Asia and different parts of Nepal. He worked at Lincoln School as a teacher assistant, and later got trained as a video editor.

    Prabod worked as a freelancer with different advertising agencies and film producers creating award winning (motion) graphics and designs. He was involved in establishing youth magazine Youth Vox. From 2008 onwards he ran a restaurant at Pokhara’s lakeside.

    In 2013 Prabod opened Ishine Gallery in Kupondole, showcasing the work of Nepali artist Jimmy Thapa, novel crafts and his own copper jewelry designs. Since 2015 Prabod has returned to his old passions, photography and graphic art. He is also involved in documenting the memories and images of hippie personalities from the golden days of Freak Street.

  • Kathmandu, My Fascination

    Lucia de Vries, journalist and author of ‘Mountain Bound’

    With its pop-arty approach, it is easy to overlook the depths of understanding in Prabod Shrestha’s work. I have known Prabod for close to a decade and got a chance to witness his unique, intimate relationship with Kathmandu, and with what it stands for. On the outside, Kathmandu has started looking like any other metropolis, priding itself on its ‘complexes’, coffee shops, widened roads, foreign goods, all signs of ‘development’ finally happening. However, to Prabod, the city at a deeper level remains unchanged. It remains an ancient place created by a divine miracle. To the artist Kathmandu still speaks the mystical language, the language of awakening. Every daily ritual conducted by the millions of Kathmanduites, every little roadside temple, every legend, each season and each festival all happen for a reason. They stir us, and help to enlighten us, the common people, to the ultimate truth. Prabod uses his ‘fone’ and his editing skills to bring out the vibrancy of this magic city. The colours he uses should be considered the tika powder with which he blesses both the divine and the mundane. Only by accepting and relating to both are we able to truly lose ourselves in Kathmandu.


    Lucia de Vries, journalist and author of ‘Mountain Bound’

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